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Breath and Death
Photograph by Cary Wolinsky

Granite dust eventually killed stonecutter Louis Brusa, whose granite memorial shows a wife's tender embrace of a dying man. Brusa succumbed to silicosis. In the early 20th century, hundreds of Barre granite workers died of this sickness, their lungs slowly turned to stone from breathing airborne granite dust kicked up by cutting tools. Few lived past age 50. Many, like Brusa, are buried in Hope Cemetery. Their grave markers are beautifully carved—by friends or sons or the dying men themselves. In 1936, the year before Louis Brusa died, manufacturers began installing ventilation systems in stoneworking sheds. No new cases of silicosis have been reported recently in Barre.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F100
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: 28-70mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/5.6

Weather Conditions: Clear, dry
Time of Day: Early morning
Lighting Techniques: Available light



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